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Hurricanes defeat Wild in shootout in season opener

Slavin scores winner after Minnesota ties game at 19:59 of third period

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jaccob Slavin scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to 5-4 win against the Minnesota Wild in their season opener at PNC Arena on Saturday.

The high backhand was Slavin's third game-deciding shootout goal in his NHL career.

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Hurricanes highlights]

 

"It just kind of happens out there," Slavin said. "I've just been doing it for a while. I couldn't tell you exactly what goes through my mind."

Mikko Koivu sent the game into overtime when he scored on a scramble in front with less than one second remaining in the third period to make it 4-4.

Video: MIN@CAR: Koivu evens game with last second goal

Victor Rask had put the Hurricanes ahead 4-3 on a pass from Sebastian Aho with 1:34 remaining. The goal gave the Hurricanes their first lead after trailing 3-1 in the second period.

Scott Darling made 23 saves in his Hurricanes debut. He stopped Tyler Ennis, Koivu and Eric Staal in the shootout.

"Darling made some big saves for us all throughout the game, especially in the shootout, to get the two points," Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal said.

Alex Stalock made 38 saves for the Wild (0-1-1). He stopped Aho and Justin Williams in the shootout.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal from Jason Zucker at 6:30 of the first period. Matt Dumba set up Zucker with a diagonal pass to the top of the crease.

Video: MIN@CAR: Rask one-times Aho's feed for the lead

Carolina tied the game 1-1 on a goal-mouth scramble at 11:26 when Joakim Nordstrom poked a loose puck through Stalock's legs.

The Wild took a 2-1 lead at 18:47 on a goal by Chris Stewart.

Eric Staal made it 3-1 at 13:43 of the second period when he got in on Darling for a short breakaway. His low shot inside the left post was his first goal against his former team. The goal came moments after Minnesota killed 1:28 of a two-man advantage for the Hurricanes.

Carolina scored on the power play to cut the lead to 3-2 at 16:20. Derek Ryan skated down the slot and redirected a shot by Williams past Stalock.

"It's the play we're trying to make there," Ryan said. "(Williams) is trying to shoot to score, but if it's not going to make it to the net, or whatever, I'm going to try to tip it. We've scored a couple times like that in practice."

Noah Hanifin's goal at 5:15 of the third period tied the game 3-3.

Video: MIN@CAR: Ryan finds twine through traffic for a PPG

 

Goal of the game

Hanifin pinched in from the point to receive Aho's feed near the slot and beat Stalock to the stick side.

Video: MIN@CAR: Hanifin nets Aho's backdoor feed to tie game

 

Save of the game

After Slavin scored in the third round of the shootout, Darling made a blocker save on Eric Staal to end the game.

Video: MIN@CAR: Darling denies Staal for SO win

 

Highlight of the game

Stewart made a strong move for his goal. He skated past defenseman Noah Hanifin at the blue line and beat Darling with a backhand over the blocker.

Video: MIN@CAR: Stewart races in to finish breakaway

 

They said it

"We were going for goals. The whole game was built upon us playing solid defense. We were going for breakaways and long bomb passes, not doing the right things in our zone. When you do that you're going to get beat all the time. That's not the way we played last year." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, on how the team played with a 3-1 lead

 

"When there's a big move in momentum, it's take a breath, get back to it and move forward. Let it go as quickly as you can, knowing that the faster you do that, the better the chance you have to win the game." -- Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal, on reacting to Minnesota's tying goal with less than one second remaining

 

Need to know

Minnesota forward Mikael Granlund missed the game with a groin injury. ... Wild forward Jared Spurgeon skated a game-high 27:40. … The Hurricanes had lost their previous six season openers (0-4-2).

 

What's next

Wild: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, FS-N, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Slavin scores lone SO goal to lift Hurricanes by Wild

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